Tomato campaign 2023-2024 Bioleft – Minka: Let’s start!

El On Tuesday, October 31, we visited our colleagues at Minka, at Julia’s seed house in Florencio Varela. The meeting aimed to share progress after the start of the 2023/24 tomato campaign. We are very happy to have met once again and grateful for the warm welcome. 

During the meeting, we discussed the initial steps of the campaign, the way we will record information, and the planning of workshops that can be helpful in the evaluation process of this campaign. 

Regarding the information recording, we adapted sheets used in the creole tomato experiment to collect relevant information about the development of the tomatoes. The Minka producers pointed out the need to find alternative recording methods that address connectivity issues and the complexity involved in some digital tools. At Bioleft, we understand that this is a crucial point to ensure that information associated with our crops can be properly systematized and protected. That’s why we are improving our digital platform to make it intuitive, flexible, and usable without an internet connection. 

The 2023/24 campaign is already underway. The Minka producers have already planted the first tomatoes at Julia’s farm and at the Agroecological Production Cooperative of Guernica (COPA). They planted seven varieties, two of which originated from Minka, and five were shared by allies initiatives Rete Semi Rurali and Open Source Seed. These tomatoes are part of a participatory plant breeding project that we recently started within the GOSSI Network, where five initiatives from different parts of the world (Semi Rurali from Italy; Open Source Seed from Germany; MASIPAG from the Philippines; Seed Savers Network from Kenya, and Bioleft from Argentina) are exchanging and evaluating different tomato varieties for field cultivation. 

We are planning workshops to continue learning together about topics such as genetic selection, crossbreeding between varieties, post-harvest treatment, and seed storage. Don’t worry, we will be providing updates soon. 

If you are interested in the work we are doing at Bioleft or have any contributions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us. 

How joyful it is to be sowing together!